After seeing these articles pop-up through Twitter every week I decided to give it ago. Not because I want to show off my music collection, well that is part of it. Not that I have a massive one, actually quite recently I decided to shrink it down to music I actually listen to – it took days – but now I have a quality collection of music rather than quantity. Hopefully that’s reflected in my 10 tracks, otherwise I wasted a lot of time.
1. Dan Le Sac Vs. Scroobius Pip – Waiting For The Beat To Kick In
I hate how hip-hop has been, essentially destroyed by commercial rap and I think wordsmith Scroobius Pip summed it up well when he said “guns, bitches and bling were never part of the four elements and never will be”. Alright, that isn’t a line from this song but it is a random selection tracks after all.
2. Art Brut – Slap Dash For No Cash
I originally got into Art Brut because they were supporting Maximo Park at a gig I went to a few years back. Ashamedly I enjoyed Art Brut more than the Park, there is something about Eddie Argos’ delivery and frank lyrics. By the time the third album rolled along I suspected the act would have gotten stale but it’s just as good as that first encounter at Southampton Guildhall.
3. Atmosphere – Shoulda Known
I always have mixed feelings towards the duo of Ant and Slug, otherwise known as Atmosphere. On one hand it’s great production with clever lyrics but on the other hand it’s verging on emotional rap. Luckily, the vocalist, Slug has evolved into storytelling even Slick Rick would be envious of. Shoulda Known is easily one of the stand out tracks from their most recent release.
4. Phantogram – Turn It Off
This track epitomises why I love the internet. I know you people shouldn’t support piracy but I stumbled upon an underground hip hop forum – because that’s the kind of guy I am – and found this electronica/trip hop offering from Phantogram. I’ve since bought the album and it’s been rooted to my… whatever iTunes calls a CD Tray ever since.
5. Ugly Duckling – Let It Out
I secretly hoped that Ugly Duckling would pop up during these ten tracks but now they have, I have no idea what to say about them. Excellent production and humorous lyrics result in my most listened to artist in the last three months by a country mile. Just listen to it.
6. Franz Ferdinand – You Could Have It So Much Better
I know I’m probably showing my age here but Franz Ferdinand were the first band I really got into. You know when you’re a kid and you just listen to whatever is on the radio or music channels (again, showing my age) but after hearing Take Me Out I was instantly transformed into a indie kid. I started to seek out more, listening to The Futureheads, Maximo Park, The Libertines, Good Shoes and more.
I don’t have much to say about the song specifically, except that it reminds me of Unreal Tournament 2004.
7. RJD2 – Get It
I spend most of my time either playing games, attempting to design or writing at my desk and I need a certain type of music while doing the latter. Nothing with words in, something quite mellow that won’t distract from the task at hand is suitable. RJD2 fits the bill perfectly. If you’re looking for something like this, he’s your man.
8. Blackalicious – Chemical Callisthenics
Who would have thought that a hip-hop song about chemistry would be one of the interesting things you’ve heard in years? Beats by Jurassic 5’s Cut Chemist – who’s album you should also check out for writing music – that are also reused for Alphabet Aerobics where Gift of Gab (half of Blackalicious) raps the entire alphabet. Both need to be heard.
9. Hideki Naganuma – Let Mom Sleep
I think my geek is showing. Sorry about that. Yes this is a track from Jet Set Radio but I’m not ashamed. Jet Set Radio had the best soundtrack of any game ever… yes I said it. It’s not a orchestral score that makes you feel emotions, it’s just a unique sound that still sounds great more than ten years on. I’ve recommended this to people who avoid video games like they contain swine flu and they’ve all enjoyed it. It’s a just a shame that Naganuma doesn’t get more work.
10. Maximo Park – Going Missing
I think this is the only track of the ten that I actually own on vinyl, a format that I foolishly decided to adopt a few years back. Nevertheless it makes me appreciate the music more. Something special happens when you take out a massive slab of black plastic out of the cardboard sleeve (Yes, not a flimsy plastic case) and drop a needle on it.
Going Missing is an excellent track, much better than anything on their last album, and I can’t think a track that I would like to drop the needle on more. Actually I’m off to do that now.